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Saturday, May 18th, 2013
Two Plymouth firefighters part of DCR crew heading to battle California wild fires
Plymouth residents part of crew of twenty headed to the front lines
The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) announced Friday that it is sending a team of twenty local firefighters to help battle the wild fires in Shasta National Forest in California. Ten of the crewmen are local firefighters and ten are DCR firefighters.
The DCR crew is a Type 2 crew trained to engage in direct fire suppression. Crew members will work to contain the fires and protect structures. They will be sleeping in tents in fire camps.
The Massachusetts DCR Bureau of Forest Fire Control has sent crews across the country and to Canada since 1985 as part of an agreement with the US Forest Service. The federal government pays all expenses for out-of-state crews including salary, transportation, lodging and food.
"These are extremely well-trained and dedicated firefighters whose skills are much needed, and whose help, we know, is enormously appreciated," DCR Commissioner Edward M. Lambert Jr.
The deployed firefighters are all federally certified and have passed a 40-hour federal wildland firefighting class and a physical fitness test.
Aaron Whiddon of Plymouth is a DCR firefighter and Alex Belote of Plymouth is a local firefighter. The two are part of the 20-person team that will mobilize Saturday morning at 3 a.m.
Wildfires have ravaged Shasta National Forest since the end of June.
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